This review brings together the results of the various studies on the use of the euro in the Member States participating in economic and monetary union and sets out the results of a Commission banking survey into the extent to which the euro is used in preparingaccounts and for payments by bank customers.
The following conclusions can be drawn:
- use of the euro in public administrations is still underdeveloped although it is growingsteadily in most Member States. Tax payments in euros are increasing as firms switchover to using the euro: for example, the share of customs export declarations made out in euros has doubled in Belgium since the beginning of the year. A number of administrations are planning pro-active measures to give further impetus to this trend.
France, for instance, intends to ask all firms tendering for public contracts to submit their bids in euros;
- the European currency is little used in national payments effected by firms (1.9% in value terms) but it already looms large in international payments. Not many firms have switched over to euro accounting: the figure ranges from 0.3% in the Netherlands to 7% in Luxembourg. By contrast, use of the euro as an invoicing currency is growing rapidly: more than 25% of firms have already sent out invoices in euros and, in some Member States, the figure exceeds 50%. Dual pricing is becoming more widespread, being used, for example, for over 80% of prices in the large-scale distribution sector (supermarkets and the like) in France;
- very few individuals use the euro (0.8% of payments in value terms). Although fashionable at the beginning of the year, the euro is now being used less in several Member States.